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Beenaboutabit

Desperate Smith rearranging the Titanic's deckchairs

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I thought the following article might be interesting, particularly on a drab miserable day such as the one we have in the deep south west.

Jacqui Smith is not interested in the welfare of prostitutes

By Rowan Pelling

These are desperate times for the Labour Party, and desperate times call for policies born of utter desperation. Thus our Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, is tough on brothels and tough on the causes of brothels. The causes being punters - the nasty, low creatures! - rather than, say, poverty and pragmatism, or lust and loneliness.

Prostitutes and their clients make an easy target, and the world of commercial sex supposedly has no interface with decent, hard-working, middle-class voters.

How quickly we forget Cynthia Payne and the Luncheon Vouchers! So Miss Smith gets to portray herself as a feminist superhero, swooping in as the saviour of fallen women, who are all too drug-addled or oppressed by wicked men to have any say in the matter.

But here are some inconvenient truths the Home Secretary didn't mention. Britain's 80,000 sex workers are a very broad church.

Their numbers include highly paid dominatrixes of the sort who featured in the Max Mosley court case and an increasing number of students who find themselves victims of Labour's underfunded higher education policy and soaring living costs. Women trafficked from abroad account for only 1.1 per cent of the sex trade.

There are also thousands of male and transsexual prostitutes, but you won't hear nanny Smith banging on about them because they're harder to label as "vulnerable".

Nor are punters necessarily the pervs of clich

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Perhaps she should read her local paper more often! Our comments must have hit the board around the same time [see later post] - many thanks!

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